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UNRWA’s human rights curriculum suffocates Palestinian resistance

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | February 27, 2014

The curriculum taught to students in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been criticised by Hamas through a statement issued by the Education Ministry, which declared the human rights textbooks provided by UNRWA to be detached from Palestinian reality.

The statement denounced the syllabus distribution prior to proper consultation with the ministry and deemed the dissemination of human rights enshrined within the curriculum an exercise in “brainwashing Palestinian students and convincing them to accept the Zionist enemies”.

Apart from providing narratives which have been assimilated into Western mainstream discourse about human rights, Palestinian historical memory was also obscured by providing an alternative history of the Nakba which absolves Israel of the atrocities committed to establish the settler-colonial state, as well as depicting peaceful resistance “as the only way of achieving freedom and independence”.

According to the Times of Israel, UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness insisted that “UNRWA’s education system takes, as its basis, the curriculum taught by the PA. We have done our utmost in developing these materials to be sensitive to local values while also being true to the values that underpin the work of the United Nations.”

However, the issue is of greater complexity than the obvious disagreement about the legitimacy of armed struggle endorsed by Hamas and the peaceful resistance which UN-affiliated entities continue to uphold as sustainable.

It is important to evaluate the alleged universal values of human rights, the probable complicity between UNRWA and the PA as entities affiliated to the imperialist narrative and the inherent selective application with regard to human rights within the imperialist concept of what constitutes humanity.

The “universal” declaration of human rights is a fabricated substitute for freedom providing a backdrop for the constant and premeditated violations. Within this framework there exists oppression and selective application of human rights, decided by the imperialist collective that is also responsible for restraining the legitimacy of the armed struggle in return for a set of competently quoted and intentionally compromised rules.

By relying upon vague terms such as universal qualities and the concept of human rights, the UN is ensuring the depletion of history and memory as a means of preventing nations from asserting their liberation, thus consolidating the subjugation upon which imperialism is dependent.

Extending the imperialist interpretation of human rights to Palestinians remains a conspiracy through which to sabotage armed resistance and the insistence upon the dismantling of the Zionist state, which Hamas has repeatedly insisted upon.

The manipulation of Palestinian history by UNRWA in agreement with the PA, which has repeatedly exhibited its allegiances with oppressive institutions and the settler-colonial state, is an exercise in erasing memories to increase agreement with the dominant narrative.

While resistance is a natural phenomenon against oppression, discourse pertaining to human rights is just a convenient intervention to stifle the reclamation of freedom, perfectly compatible with the alleged values imparted by the UN.

Implementing the compromised education curriculum would limit the possibility of an organised and legitimate armed struggle against the settler-colonial state, as well as indoctrinate Palestinian students against their rights to assert their own historical legitimacy

February 27, 2014 - Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , ,

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